South West Coast Path Association Welcome to the home of the South West Coast Path Association.
We are the charity looking after the UK’s longest and best-loved National Trail. We believe everyone should have access to the South West Coast Path as a place to connect to nature, relax, exercise, and take time away from the stresses of daily life. With the help of our members, fundraisers, volunteers, and partners, we’re protecting and improving the Trail for the benefit of society now and in the future. We hope you enjoy the Path and consider supporting our cause.
Long Distance Walkers Association Our longest National Trail gives the opportunity to enjoy some of Britain's finest coastal landscapes. These are extremely varied, from rugged and remote clifftops to sheltered estuaries, busy harbours and resorts. Moorland stretches contrast with plateaux incised by steep coastal valleys and intimate coves with long pebbly or sandy beaches.
South Cornwall and Devon offer spectacular 'drowned' estuaries while in East Devon and Dorset there are extensive 'undercliffs' resulting from landslips. Ferries operate across most of the larger estuaries but some offer a reduced service or cease altogether out of the holiday season. Details are available in the South West Coast Path Association's Annual Guide.
Two World Heritage Sites cover sections of the coastline. Mining was a major industry during the 18th and 19th centuries and transformed the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape. This Site comprises ten separate areas both along the coast and inland. The Jurassic Coast is England's only natural World Heritage Site and includes 95 miles of unspoilt cliffs and beaches from Exmouth in East Devon to Old Harry Rocks near Studland Bay in Dorset.
In 2002, Plymouth City Council created a continuous walking route along its coastline and appointed a team of artists to mark the route and interpret the many stories along it. Promoted as Plymouth's Waterfront Walkway (9 miles) this is now part of the South West Coast Path National Trail and is not separately named on OS mapping.
The circular waymarked Dart Valley Trail (17 miles and on OS mapping) connects to the National Trail having the ferry between Dartmouth and Kingswear in common. It also links to the national rail network at Totnes. The Templer Way (18 miles and on OS mapping), which is waymarked except on open moorland, goes between Haytor Quarry and the National Trail at Teignmouth, using the ferry from Shaldon to Teignmouth.
Explore Devon Over the centuries fishermen, coastguards and smugglers have helped to create this historic path – now Britain’s longest National Trail – stretching over 600 miles/960km in total. Ranging from easy to challenging, the path is comprehensively waymarked; the Devon element of the South West Coast Path runs for 90 miles/144km in the north and 115 miles/185km in the south.
This long-distance walking trail boasts some of the most spectacular landscape, seascape, climate and vegetation to be found anywhere in the UK. To the north, the beautiful bay of Combe Martin, Ilfracombe’s picturesque harbour, the magnificent sweep of Saunton Sands and the dramatic cliff scenery around Hartland Point are all inspiring sights. To the south, the coast has many contrasts – from the city of Plymouth to the delightful estuaries of the South Hams; from the many dramatic headlands to the red cliffs of East Devon.